Yes, Halloween candy is delicious and absolutely worth eating, BUT in moderation of course. If you’re an adult who regularly exercises and eats right– treat yo self! But if you’re a parent, worried about your child’s nutrition and their candy consumption, you’re right to be concerned. Children need proper nutrients such as protein, calcium and vitamin D, before filling up on candy.
It’s no secret October’s a big month for all things spooky from bones and skeletons to cobwebs and jack-o-lanterns. And while skeletons make for great Halloween costumes, what we should be focusing on is building a skeleton made of strong bones.
A 2014 Clinical Report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), stated adolescent girls only get about 67% of their recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of calcium. Why should this spook you? Because 40% to 60% of adult bone mass is built during adolescence.
But calcium alone can’t build strong bones. The human body needs an adequate amount of vitamin D in order to absorb and utilize the calcium it takes in.
The scary part? The AAP report reveals anywhere from 17% to 47% of adolescents in the U.S. are vitamin D deficient. It’s worth noting, the winter months pose a higher risk for vitamin D deficiency and those with darker skin tones also face an increased risk.
So what’s the takeaway here? If you’re concerned your child isn’t getting the right nutrition to build strong bones, then put down the Halloween candy and treat your bones to something rich in calcium and vitamin D. Try swapping candy corn for a snack high in calcium such as broccoli, cheese or better yet, let your kids have one piece of candy alongside a glass of fortified vitamin D milk.
Now for a little Halloween fun –
Q: What do you call a skeleton who doesn’t get enough calcium or vitamin D?
How do you make sure your kids (or you) get enough calcium and vitamin D? What tips or tricks do you have? Share with us in the comments!